USDOT Unveils $88B FY22 Budget Proposal (Updated)

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is slated to receive $88 billion under President Joe Biden’s $6 trillion fiscal year 2022 budget proposal, which was submitted to Congress on May 28.

The President’s budget also includes the American Jobs Plan, which “would invest an additional $621 billion in transportation infrastructure and resilience,” the USDOT reported.

The Department provided the following budget breakdown (download below for more details):

• $13.5 billion for transit. This is a $533 million increase from the FY 2021 enacted level of $13.0 billion, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). It includes $2.5 billion for the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program—a $459 million increase—“to advance the construction or completion of 25 rail, bus rapid transit (BRT) and streetcar projects in 12 states, as well as other projects that may become ready for funding in FY 2022.”

“These capital projects will improve life in 25 communities and are the start of what we hope will be a once-in-a-generation investment to modernize and expand public transit across the country,” Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

“Consistent with the President’s FY 2022 budget,” FTA also reported on May 28 that its FY 2022 Annual Report on Funding Recommendations includes $1.56 billion for 17 CIG projects with existing grant agreements; $461.1 million for eight new CIG projects estimated to be ready for grants in FY 2022; and $427.2 million for other CIG and Expedited Project Delivery (EPD) Pilot Program projects that may become ready for funding during FY 2022. The FTA provides a project list on its website.

The President’s proposal also includes $550 million for the TIG (Transit Infrastructure Grant) program, of which $250 million will support the Zero Emission Bus Program. 

•  $3.7 billion for passenger rail grant programs. This is an increase of $1.1 billion from the FY 2021 enacted level of $2.6 billion, according to APTA. Included in the total is $2.7 billion for Amtrak, a 35% increase in “financial support that will accelerate track renewal, renovate aging stations, refresh the existing capital fleet, and address maintenance needs throughout the system,” USDOT reported. (Amtrak on May 27 released a 15-year plan to improve 25 existing routes and add 39 new routes, calling on Congress for $75 billion in support.) Also included: $375 million for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) program. Finally, $625 million is proposed for a new competitive Passenger Rail Improvement, Modernization, and Expansion (PRIME) grant program “to modernize and develop passenger rail service and expand existing rail corridors throughout the country.” This funding is “a down payment on the $20 billion that the American Jobs Plan would provide to expand passenger rail,” USDOT reported.

$110 million to create a new Thriving Communities program. An office would be established to support communities by “eliminating persistent transportation barriers and increasing access to jobs, school and businesses.” The American Job Plan would provide $5 billion to fund this program, according to USDOT. The budget also proposes boosting by 30% the Departmental Office of Civil Rights budget “to support oversight of both internal and external civil rights programs, including the DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) program,” USDOT noted.

$1 billion for the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). This includes a $50 million increase for Vehicle Safety Programs “to advance the equitable development and implementation of safe vehicle technologies, keep pace with the rapid innovation in vehicle electronics and automated driving systems, and ensure the safety of alternative-fuel vehicles.” According to USDOT, the American Jobs Plan would invest an additional $20 billion in safety, “including increases to existing safety programs and a new ‘Safe Streets for All’ program to fund state and local ‘vision zero’ or other similar plans to reduce crashes and fatalities, especially for people walking and biking.”

$18.5 billion for the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). This includes $11.4 billion for operations, $17.4 million of which “would strengthen Aviation Safety Oversight and begin addressing the requirements of the Aircraft Certification Safety and Accountability Act.” Also proposed: $1 billion to improve the physical condition of FAA facilities that house the workforce and technology of the FAA’s air traffic control system. Additionally, “[i]n keeping with the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, this year’s budget proposes $88.5 million for clean climate research activities to reduce the impact of aviation on climate change and air quality,” USDOT reported. 

$1 billion for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grants, formerly known as TIGER/BUILD Grants. According to the USDOT, the “American Jobs Plan calls for significantly increasing the funding available for the popular and oversubscribed RAISE and INFRA programs, as well as creating a $25 billion Transformative Projects Fund for projects that are too large, complex or innovative to fit within existing programs.”

The USDOT budget also “provides more detail on the proposals included in the President’s American Jobs Plan than had been previously released,” the Department said.

The President’s plan invests an additional $621 billion in transportation infrastructure and resilience. The USDOT explained this includes $540 billion that “would reside in the Department of Transportation for its programs allocated over a five-year period, and is in addition to the base amounts included in the FY 22 Budget request. Separately, the American Jobs Plan also provides $50 billion to make our infrastructure more resilient, of which $7.5 billion would be provided to the Department of Transportation. In addition to details on investments in core assets, the budget provides detail on multiple new transportation programs, including but not limited to: Community Transportation Block Grants; Safe Streets for All; Build a National Electric Vehicles Charging Network; and Advanced Research Projects Agency-Infrastructure (ARPA-I).”

“This budget reflects our Administration’s priorities, and responds to our country’s needs,” Secretary Buttigieg said. “It will start giving America the tools to get back to work, modernize our infrastructure, combat the climate crisis, and build equity into our transportation system so everyone can get around safely and affordably.”  

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